Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Book: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Genre: Paranormal, with a touch of history
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Fun
From: bought for my Kindle

I started reading this one just as we were leaving London to come home from our trip. That very day, we passed up on the chance to go on a Jack the Ripper walking tour. (Mostly we were just too tired, and it was too hot and we had kids that weren't feeling well.) Then, I started this book and wished so bad we had just done the tour anyway! How much fun would that have been to have just barely seen all the things described in the book! Oh, well.

So yes, this book is about Jack the Ripper.... sort of. Our main character, Rory, has just started a boarding school in the middle of present day London just at the same time that a bunch of murders begin to happen which are mimicking Jack the Ripper from a hundred years before. Everyone gets very caught up in the sensation and there's  a media frenzy, and Rory's school is right in the middle of it all.

One night, when she and her friends sneak out to observe some of the media craziness, she sees a strange guy. That night, the murder takes place right at their school! And then she has to report what she's seen and suddenly, she herself is right it in the center of all the hoopla!

Boy, and then strange things really begin to happen. Rory thinks she is losing her mind, and then she finds out she is mixed up in something way bigger than a murder investigation!

Great story with a nice mixture of historical facts about Jack the Ripper, a good feel for the city of London, and some awesome paranormal touches. Those touches added a wonderful creepy element, though the subject of Jack the Ripper is pretty creepy in and of itself.

The book ends with quite the twist that makes you go, wait, what? So now we can look forward to more books! The Shades of London series.

Bottom line: I was totally wrapped up in this story and loved it.

Other Reviews:

If you judge a book based on your need to finish it, then it was well worth it! From Becky's Book Reviews

The Name of the Star is an incredibly entertaining book. From Devourer of Books

This book is effectively creepy in a lot of ways, enough to have me looking over my shoulder for a few days after I finished it, but not least is the idea that everyone knows when and where the murders will occur, yet no one seems to be able to stop it. From Fyrefly's Book Blog

Everyone and everything seemed so natural and real that I bought in to the world completely without it ever seeming gimmicky. From Logan E. Turner


  1. I will have to remember this for Carl's RIP challenge. I'd forgotten and you've renewed my interest. :)


  2. I liked all the historical facts in this book, it made me want to go and do more research!

  3. I didn't realize that's what this book was about. I've seen lots of people raving about it, but somehow I thought it was World War II-ish. Oops!
    I'll have to check it out. It sounds really interesting.

  4. hmmm . . . sounds creepy. I hope you had a good time in London.

  5. I have this one on my kindle and need to read it. When I was living in London I actually took that Jack the Ripper tour, so I think it would make the book even more interesting!

  6. I really enjoyed this one as well! And did you know that she already has the second book out? I haven't had the chance to read it yet but I'm definitely planning on it. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this book :)

  7. I hesitated for a long time before reading this because I thought, "Do I really want to read a book about Jack the Ripper? Ick." But, you're right, it's not nearly about him. It's creepy, but not as gruesome as I expected it to be. The series is actually FUNNY. A good mix of humor, creepiness, romance, etc. Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. I love jack the ripper re-tellings! And pretty much any other alternate-history explanation for well known events from the past. It's the same way I feel about fairy tale re-tellings, actually. It's just fun to see a new spin on a familiar story :)



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